By Hanna Moore
I recently spoke with Katie Smith, PR Kent alumna and current New Yorker about her internship, the transition into a new city and her advice for current public relations students.
Tell me about yourself!
I'm Katie, and I graduated from the PR Kent program this past December. I'm a total news junkie and grammar nerd.
Where is your current internship?
My current internship is at PPR's NYC office.
What are some of your responsibilities in this role?
I support Dell's corporate, brand and corporate social responsibilities teams. I do a lot of news scanning and coverage reports, researching and building media lists, drafting pitches, suggesting Tweets, media backgrounders and more!
What experience at Kent State helped you land the internship?
This is my fourth internship, so I think my PR classes plus my previous internships gave me a really solid foundation for the fast-paced agency role I'm in now. I believe each experience has built upon itself and led to new opportunities. In media relations and publicity I had a lightbulb moment and decided I should pitch my sorority's philanthropy event to the Record-Courier, and they actually ran a story about it! That experience landed me an internship at a fashion PR agency in NYC in 2014.
Then I began working at Flash Communications, which honed my writing and editing skills. Those skills helped me land a marketing internship with a company that was looking to expand its PR efforts. The culmination of the rigorous classes like Bateman, PR Tactics and PR Online Tactics along with these internships, got me to my dream city.
What is your dream job?
I'd really like to start my own agency by my mid-thirties. It's a pretty lofty goal, but the challenge excites me. If that doesn't work out, I'd love to be the SVP of communications. I don't think I have a place in mind at the moment, but I want the work I'm doing to make a difference.
How has the transition been from moving to New York City?
This is my second time living in the city, and this time was much less of an adjustment. At my first internship I ran a decent amount of errands, but it was great because I got acclimated with the city. New York is obviously a lot different than Ohio, and I think the main thing people making the jump need to do is consciously be aware of their surroundings at all times.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to work in public relations in New York City?